Franz Wilhelm Abt (22 December 1819 - 31 March 1885) was a German composer and choral conductor. He composed roughly 3,000 individual works mostly in the area of vocal music. Several of his songs were at one time universally sung, and have obtained a more or less permanent place in the popular repertory. During his lifetime, Abt was a renowned choral conductor and he spent much of the last three decades of his life working as a guest conductor with choirs throughout Europe and in the United States.
Abt's compositions comprise more than 600 opus numbers which make up over 3000 individual items. He was primarily a composer of vocal music and was particularly prolific in writing music for male choirs which he thought was lacking in sufficient literature. Indeed, his greatest successes in Germany and Switzerland were obtained in part-songs for men's voices. Abt was also successful in writing choral music for mixed choruses both a cappella and with either piano or orchestral accompianement. He also wrote numerous popular vocal art songs for solo voice, part songs for multiple voices, and several songs for children.
Abt's compositional style betrays an easy fluency of invention, couched in pleasing popular forms, but without pretence to depth or individuality. Many of his songs, were at one time universally sung, and have obtained a more or less permanent place in the popular repertory. Due to their simple and melodic style some of Abt's songs, such as Wenn die Schwalben heimwärts ziehn and Die stille Wasserrose are easily mistaken for genuine folksong.
Abt's other compositions include three operas: Des Königs Scharfschütz, Die Hauptprobe, and Reisebekanntschaften. In the early part of his life Abt composed much for the pianoforte, chiefly pieces of light salon character. These have never had the same popularity as his vocal works. Text source : Wikipedia (Hide extended text) ... (Read all)